Exploring Tourism in Ethiopia
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Travel Activities Details

The Finding Of True Cross / Demera/ Boom Fire Tour

Price on Request

Must Visit City
Addis Ababa
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Day 01: Arrival, City Tour and Eve of Meskel Up on your arrival at Bole International Airport and you will clear immigration and proceed to baggage claim, after collecting your checked bags, clear customs and pass . .
Country: Ethiopia
City: Addis Ababa
Duration: 2 Day(s) - 1 Night(s)
Tour Category: Cultural
Package Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival, City Tour and Eve of Meskel

Up on your arrival at Bole International Airport and you will clear immigration and proceed to baggage claim, after collecting your checked bags, clear customs and pass through the arrivals hall where you will be meet by Exploring Tourism representative, who will assist you with your transfer to your hotel.

After a breakfast in the Morning, you will enjoy a half day guided tour of the Ethnological Museum, with its artifacts and displays of the cultures and handicrafts of Ethiopia’s many ethnic groups. At the famous National Museum, with its cultural and archaeological relics, you will visit the famous “Lucy,” a 3.2 million-year-old female hominid who was discovered in Ethiopia’s Awash Valley in 1974. The open-air market of Addis, the Mercato, is the largest on the continent, and you will take a drive through it. Time permitting; you may also visit Ba’ata Church, also known as Menelik’s Mausoleum, one of the oldest of the churches in Addis, built in 1911. It houses beautiful paintings and the royal tombs of past emperors, including Emperor Haile Selassie. Late in the afternoon you will transfer to Meskel Square and patriciate the eve of Meskel and Demar ceremony.

REMARKS: One of Ethiopia’s more popular attractions to catch the eye and interest of tourists is the yearly Meskel celebration. The September Meskel Festival marks the finding of the True Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. The festival is ancient, dating back over 1,600 years. It is celebrated with yellow Meskel daisies placed on top of huge bonfires that are lit in the evening in front of the throngs of celebrants.

The main Meskel celebration includes the burning of a large bonfire, the Demera, in Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. This takes place on the eve of Meskel, and is based on the belief that Empress Eleni, the mother of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, had a revelation in a dream. She was told that she should make a bonfire and that the smoke would show her where the True Cross was buried. She ordered the people of Jerusalem to bring wood, and after adding frankincense, the bonfire was lit and the smoke rose high up to the sky. It then fell back to earth and returned to the ground, swirling around at the exact spot where the Cross had been buried.

During the celebration of the Finding of the True Cross, ornately robed priests carrying silver crosses dance with their followers around the fires singing and chanting and carrying flaming torches. Sunday school students dressed in traditional Ethiopian plain white clothes furnish color to the event by singing hymns and presenting colorful spiritual and artistic religious shows to the crowd. Millions of followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrate Meskel every year throughout the country. The festivities also mark the end of the three-month long rainy season and the return of summer to Ethiopia. No rain is expected to occur after Meskel – and indeed it is rare for this to happen. The scenery of this religious festival is a feast for the senses and for the soul.

The Meskel festival is unique to Ethiopia. No other country celebrates the Finding of the True Cross, and it is a celebration as old as the actual finding of the True Cross. Ethiopia is now engaged in an effort to register the Meskal festival as one of the World’s Cultural Heritage experiences. We believe it deserves this designation because of the ancient nature of the celebration, its color and significance and the attraction it has for a growing number of tourists as well as the immense participation of the society and of people of all ages which adds to its inimitable quality. UNESCO should seriously consider welcoming the Meskel celebrations as a World Cultural experience, contributing significantly to the enrichment of human culture.

  • Lunch and dinner
  • Land Cruiser recent model car with full options

Accommodation: Monarch Hotel


You will cover approximately 80km and 1-hour drive

Game drive varies the time of arrival

Day 2: Drive to Debre Libanos Monastry

For Ethiopians, it is one of most important religious objects in the whole country. Its founder, Saint Tekelehaymont contributed to the abdication of Zagwe dynasty, believed to be usurpers, and to return of emperors being offspring of King Salomon. He also contributed to spreading the Christian religion in south Ethiopia. He was canonized for his service. Originally, the temple did not survive until today. Modern church was funded in 1961 by Emperor Haileselasie I.

According to the legend, Father Teklehaymanot prayed for 29 years in the cave in the canyon of the lake Jemma. Nowadays, the cane is a target of many pilgrims, and water from its water is believed to be holy. The road from monastery to the cave takes up to 5 minutes. The leader of the monastery - abbot is after the patriarch the second most important cleric of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

The gorge of the River Jemma is very picturesque - the river is an inflow for Blue Nile. Especially worth-seeing is a rock bridge called Portuguese. Portuguese, because according too many sources it was built by Portuguese people residing in Ethiopia in XVII century. It is not truth. The construction was built as an order from local magnates. The real Portuguese Bridge connects shores of Blue Nile near Bahirdar. The wrong terminology does not reduce the beauty of the construction. It is worth to wait a while for gelada baboons to walk on it - endemic monkeys of Ethiopia. They live on a cliff that is a gorge of River Jemma. The surroundings of the monastery are a great place to observe birds.

There is a great asphalt road from Addis Abeba to Debrelibanos. The journey takes around two hours which makes it possible to take a trip within one day. A good place for dinner and accommodation is Ethio - German Lodge. In the evening drop off to your international flight at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Land Cruiser recent model car with full options

Accommodation: -


You will cover approximately 280km /includes drop off/

Game drive varies the finishing time

If you need extra days you want to visit the country you will ask your tour consultant a head to make programs for you.

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